The Mad Colored Houses of Burano – Venice, Italy - Atlas Obscura

The Mad Colored Houses of Burano

This community on a small Venetian island has taken to painting their houses in bright neon hues. 


The fisherman’s island of Burano sits in the Venetian lagoon and, like most of Venice, is run through by a system of canals. While Venice can take on a melancholy feel, Burano’s cheery and brightly painted houses stand out.

Burano is made up of a group of four small islands linked together by a series of bridges and held together even more solidly by their colorful painting trend. The eye-catching color scheme has been upheld for decades and was even beginning to fade until recent years when the practice was reinstated.

Now, Burano’s houses pop with bright colors that almost look photoshopped as the homes are repainted every two years. Each house is painted a different color from its neighbors and in fact, anyone that wants to paint their place needs to get approval from the local community government first.

In addition to its uniquely painted houses, Burano is renowned for its quality lacework and even boasts a Museum of Lace, although photography is prohibited on the premises. The Museum of Lace may be the only place in the little neighborhood where photography is outlawed as groups of visiting photographers are a regular sight on the streets of this tiny albeit colorful island. 

Know Before You Go

To get to Burano, you'll have to take the Vaporetto (number 12) from the Fondament Nove in Venice. The 40-minute Vaporetto ride will make a stop in Murano—an island known for its glass blowing and well worth a visit—before continuing on to Burano. 

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